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Helen Hunt Jackson (1830-1885) of Amherst, Massachusetts, turned to writing after the death of her first husband in 1863. Her marriage to William Jackson, a wealthy Denver Quaker, brought her to the West in 1875, and she soon became a Native American rights activist. She was sent west as part of a federal commission to investigate conditions among the Mission Indians in 1882, and her experiences as part of that commission inspired her famous 1884 novel Ramona. Glimpses of California (1902) reprints articles Jackson first published in 1883. She offers a narrative history of the California mission system and the early years of Los Angeles as a Hispanic community and the work of Junipero Serra as well as an analysis of the fate of the Mission Indians after those missions were dismantled. This section of the book is followed by a chapter on Southern California's "outdoor industries" -- livestock ranching and farming -- and one on Jackson's visit to Oregon
Father Junipero and his work.--The present condition of the mission Indians in southern California.--Echoes in the city of the angels.--Outdoor industries in southern California.--Chance days in Oregon
Papers on California and the missions, by the author of "Ramona" first published in 1883 and reprinted in 1886 in "Glimpses of three coasts." cf. note